Offshore Treasures

Explore the depths of South-West Deeps (East), a recommended Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) 170km off the tip of Cornwall.

South-West Deeps (East) recommended MCZ is found 170km offshore from Land's End, Cornwall, right at the edge of the continental shelf where the seabed slopes away into the depths of the Atlantic.

Hiding in these deep, sandy slopes are burrowing anemones, sea urchins and weird and wonderful worms. Within the boundaries of this proposed MCZ lie the geologically important Celtic Sea Relict Sandbanks, a historic feature of the seabed and among the largest and deepest shelf sand ridges of their kind.

Burrowing anemone

Burrowing anemone ©Polly Whyte/Earth In Focus

This area is important for a range of seabed habitats, including mixed sediments and sand, supporting a rich marine ecosystem. The deep sandy seabed of the South-West Deeps (East) recommended MCZ is also home to the monkfish. This weird-looking creature is also known as the angler fish as it uses a lure to tempt small fish near to its big mouth!

A section of the continental shelf break is also found within the South-West Deeps (East), increasing the range of depths and ultimately the biodiversity of species living and visiting this area. 

This site, like many of the others we believe should be designated as an MCZ, has been identified as being at high risk of damage and degradation by Natural England and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee due to the presence of sensitive habitats and species within the site. It’s vital that this site is protected as soon as possible.

Get Involved

Help protect special areas at sea

Join our Wave of Support and help secure South-West Deeps (East) and 40 other new Marine Conservation Zones, each protecting a special area of our seas and the wildlife found there.

Add your Wave of Support